Saturday, April 30, 2011

Story Engineering

I have precisely two books about writing fiction: Bird by Bird and No Plot? No Problem?, so I picked up Story Engineering by Larry Brooks with excitement--until I read the prologue online.
Anyone who's been writing for a while will have glimpsed the two extremes on the planning spectrum--meticulous outliners and seat-of-the-pants-writers (pantsers). Brooks comes down firmly on the side of outliners. When he does acknowledge pantsers, it comes across as throwing a teething ring at a toddler to shut him up while the 'adults' get serious. He also doesn't allow for multiple protagonists, unhappy endings, or non-protagonist main characters. Furthermore, I found his use of Top Gun and Da Vinci Code examples extremely exasperating.
I give this book no stars because I disagree with it (and therefore am reluctant to finish it), but it was well-written and easy to follow.
I received this book for free as part of Thomas Nelson’s Blogging for Books program, but was not required to write a positive review.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a pantser for sure. Outlines kill all the fun for me. Though I do take a lot of notes as I go along. For me the best way to improve my writing is to study my favorite books and figure out how the author did this or that thing which is similar to what I'm trying to do.